Perfumed GardenThe first English translation of the Perfumed Garden to gain popularity in the West was made (from a French translation) by British explorer Sir Richard Burton. Published in 1886, it was subtitled, “A  Manual of Arabian Erotology” and dated as 16th century. However, it may have been written earlier. The original was authored by Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Nafzawi. Sheikh Nefzawi was a Berber from the south of present-day Tunisia.


1999 direct translation available for purchase

Scan of entire 1886 Burton translation on

PDF of Chapter VII “Of Matters Which Are Injurious in the Act of Generation” (1886 trans.)


Remember that a prudent man will beware of abusing the enjoyment of coition. The sperm is the water of life; if you use it economically you will always be ready for love’s pleasures; it is the light of your eye; do not be lavish with it at all times and whenever you have a fancy for enjoyment, for if you are not sparing with it you will expose yourself to many ills.

Wise medical men say, ‘A robust constitution is indispensable for copulation, and he who is endowed with it may give himself up to the pleasure without danger; but it is otherwise with the weakly man; he runs into danger by indulging freely with women.

The sage, Es Sakli, has thus determined the limits to be observed by man as to the indulgence of the pleasures of coition: Man, be he phlegmatic or sanguine, should not make love more than twice or thrice a month; bilious or hypochondriac men only once or twice a month.

It is nevertheless a well-established fact that nowadays men of any of these four temperaments are insatiable as to coition, and give themselves up to it day and night, taking no heed how they expose themselves to numerous ills, both internal and external. Women are more favoured than men in indulging their passion for coition. It is in fact their speciality; and for them it is all pleasure; while men run many risks in abandoning themselves without reserve to the pleasures of love.